Thoroughly Thursday - the "Happy Festivus" Edition

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Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the "Happy Festivus" edition. We have entered into the Holiday season. Many of you may be have celebrated Hanukkah this last week, are celebrating Kwanzaa or will celebrate Christmas in a few days. I wish everyone the best in whatever tradition they follow and if you don't follow any tradition, I wish you the best of Festivus (for the Rest of Us) this Dec. 23rd. May your Feats of Strengths be worthy of the following year's Airing of Grievances.   

What I'm reading (article) - Economizing 2017
One interesting tradition of late December is the ubiquitous "Top 10" lists that pop up everywhere. However, one that I am enjoying is the (downloadable) 10 Things We Learned in 2017 by the Economist. I'm a huge fan of the Economist's in-depth, global reporting, but rarely have the discretionary time to read more than the occasional article. However, this collection of 10 (short) articles was a great way to spend a half-hour. It includes why Evangelicals Love Donald Trump (TL;DR - the distinctly twisted American tradition of the Prosperity Gospel),  Finland testing a basic human income for the unemployed, the rise of Bitcoin, Putin's ascension to Russia's modern Tsar, and plastic-eating caterpillars. You can download it here

What I'm Watching - Poe Rey Me Kylo (Solo) Finn
Unless you've been living under a rock, you might have heard about the latest documentary on the Porgs of Ahch-To. Wildlife aside, the latest Star Wars movie has been bringing in HUGE NUMBERS and stoking controversy. My family and I loved it, though I understand a lot of people's reservations about the film. Though there are already oodles of articles/videos/podcasts/twitter-rants about the movie, I think my feelings are best summed up by this article

What I'm Learning - Semi-Semiotic-ing
After reading the Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco a few weeks ago, I decided to learn a bit about semiotics (the study of signs). Eco was a semiotician who taught at the University of Bologna and much of his work is thick with symbols, signsallusions, dreams, allegories and historical ideology that was constantly being interpreted and re-examined by his characters. However, as much as I'm intrigued by the idea, reading introductory books on semiotics has been like sitting down with the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, but far less interesting. When do we going to learn about Marilyn Monroe?

What I'm Doing - Burning River or Bust!
Early next week, my family and I are traveling to Cleveland, OH to celebrate my father-in-law's 80th birthday. It may sound strange to say that Cleveland is one of my favorite places, but it is, and not just because of old institutions like West Side Market. It's has funky neighborhoods, a great art museum and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (which I'm hoping to visit during this trip). That being said, I was recently listening to the excellent Stuff You Missed in History Class which had an episode about how the (largely misunderstood) 1969 Cuyahoga river fire was actually one of the defining moments in the burgeoning environmental movement and the founding the EPA

What I'm Asking - Chimney's Closed, kthanksbye!
Can I skip Christmas gifts this year and spend the time using the things I already own?

All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)

Scott Moe
DTG

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